Smile: US university rescues music department

Smile: US university rescues music department


norman lebrecht

February 08, 2021

Support for the department of music at Evansville University was so effusive that the college has scrapped plans for closure and will upgrade the faculty to Conservatory status.




  • Barry says:

    The best fried chicken I’ve ever eaten, by far, was in Henderson, KY, which is right across the Ohio River from Evansville.

  • Fred says:

    Just what we need: another non-elite school pumping out music majors with zero chance of success (other than perhaps teaching).

    • Peter says:

      Such idiotic, condescending, future-predicting statements like yours are so tiring. How about you let individuals pursue their own dreams, please?

    • J Barcelo says:

      Well, that’s about it: music teachers. They usually don’t go to Julliard, Mannes, CIM, or Peabody. Also, music groups are a big part of the wider culture at American universities: bands play at football games, some basketball. They play for graduation ceremonies. And there are plenty of non-music majors who want to play and study music as an avocation. I was a maths major, but spent a lot of time in the music department and if my school didn’t have that option, I’d have gone elsewhere.

    • Sisko24 says:

      Don’t poo-poo teaching, as you appear to have done. That is how the knowledge and love for classical music gets passed on these days. Gone are the times when every school and school system featured instrumental groups, choral groups, music history instruction, music theory instruction and the like. We need more teachers who know western classical and other forms of music in our classes helping their charges find their way to music.

      • Fred says:

        If they’re only offering a music ed. degree, fantastic! But if they’re offering a classical music performance degree, I hope that it comes with a serious disclaimer that their students will be up against the heavyweight alumni of Curtis, Juilliard, NEC, etc. at audition time.

        • Carol J. Dallinger says:

          As a member of the University of Evansville music faculty, Fred, let me assure you that all the faculty carefully counsel any students with performing ambitions that they will be in competition with the graduates of the best-known institutions in the country.
          I want you to know, however, that our faculty have the knowledge and ability to graduate a student who can and have competed successfully. Our faculty care
          passionately about our students, both majors and non-majors, and we are all part of greater arts community in our city as principal players in our local Evansville Philharmonic Orchestra. It was the emails and letters from community members and our alumni that saved our department from the chopping block, which I believe supports the fact that we have meaning.

    • Fred Funk says:

      That’s correct to a point. Take Indiana State University, the DUMB people that trashed the really good pianos, for the crap digital ones from China.

      The whole reason they STILL play football, is to have a marching band. Without the band, their music education majors would have worthless degrees. Judging from the overall decline in enrollment at the university, they need students to keep the doors open.

      And these smaller schools don’t have the teacher/student sexual assault ratios that the Boston area institutions have. The known, but undisciplined “teachers” there continue to coerce/assault their students. Enough to create 3 orchestras of sex offenders.

    • david hilton says:

      I don’t suppose that you would consider the California State University, Northridge to be an elite school, or the State University of New York at Potsdam either. But personally I’m glad that Carol Vaness and Renée Fleming weren’t deterred by your “zero chance of success” theory and attended those two universities respectively, starting them on the road to success and giving the operatic world decades of great performances.